McCaffrey received a timetable of four-to-six weeks to recover from his sprained ankle but hoped to return ahead of schedule.
The 24-year-old suffered the injury in Week 2 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He racked up 223 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns through the first two games of the season.
Panthers' upcoming schedule
McCaffrey will be eligible to return in Week 6 against the Chicago Bears. Mike Davis is expected to lead Carolina's rushing attack in his absence.